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October 30 is one of my anniversaries

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

October 30 is one of my anniversaries. What that means is that since Jim and I are a nontraditional couple (that means we’re gay!) and never expected to be able to get married in our lifetimes, we celebrate several anniversaries:

  • May 26, 1994 — The day we met.
  • November 1, 1995 — The day we moved in together.
  • July 31, 2004 — The day we got domestic partnered in California.

And, since “domestic partnered” just doesn’t have the same ring as “married,”

  • October 30, 2008 — The day we got married in California.

FuchsiaBecause we got married during a period when so-called “gay marriage” was legal in California, the California Supreme Court, in May 2009, ruled that our marriage would remain legal and recognized by the State of California. Yeah!

However, one of the main reasons why we don’t travel outside of California is because of the number of states that don’t recognize our marriage. That means that if something were to happen to one of us while we were in a homophobic state, like my home state of Texas, the other person could, and probably would, be denied the privilege of making health care decisions or recovering a body in the event of death. We have to be realistic.

Angel's trumpet in La Mesa, California, on January 23, 2012It’s those types of situations that will eventually force the United States Supreme Court to pull all the states, some screaming, into the modern age and force them all to recognize the “full faith and credit clause” of the United States Constitution relative to married gay couples. After all, the sky has not fallen in Iowa, New York, Massachusetts, and other States and countries where gay couples can legally marry.

Meanwhile, though, yesterday the United States Supreme Court announced that they would decide on November 20 whether or not to hear the Proposition 8 appeal from the homophobic right-wing nuts here in California. Proposition 8 was the 2008 measure passed by 52% of the people (who voted) to deny gay couples the right to marry. The California Supreme Court already overthrew Proposition 8, as did the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

StapeliaWe should know on Monday, November 26, whether or not the United States Supreme Court will hear the appeal. If they decide not to, which most of us expect, gay couples in California will be able to marry again. The reason why we don’t expect the United States Supreme Court to hear the appeal is because it has such a narrow focus, dealing specifically with the California State Constitution. If they decide to hear it, oral arguments will probably be in March or April 2012 with a decision probably handed down during the final weeks of the 2012-2013 term.

Jim and I are doing some special things today, but you’ll just have to wait until Halloween Day to find out what we did.

P.S. I won’t be camping out in any blogs today, but I’ll be back in camping mode on Halloween Day!

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

51 thoughts on “October 30 is one of my anniversaries

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Yep. It’s pretty bad. Just look at an election map. Red States are bad states and Blue States are good states.

      There are four states that have discriminatory statutes on the ballots this year to deny gay couples the right to marry. They are state constitution measures, as California’s was, so if they pass, the only way to undo them is for the state Supreme Courts or the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved, which eventually they’ll have to. You can’t have laws in one state being summarily dismissed in other states.

      It’s similar to states having different ages for people to get married. Some states allow a 16-year-old to marry. However, if a 16-year-old got married in one state, if s/he moved to a state where the age is 18, the marriage is still recognized as legal. Some states allow first cousins to marry, but if the first cousins then move to another state that doesn’t allow first cousins to marry, the marriage is still recognized as legal. That’s what will eventually happen with gay marriage. States might be allowed not to let gay couples marry but they won’t be able to deny recognition of gay marriages that happen legally in other states.

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  1. aawwa

    Congratulations on your anniversary. We have several anniversaries too – the day we met online, the day we met in person, the day Tom moved in with me, then eventually, the day we got married 🙂 I hope you and your partner have many more happy years together!

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  2. Alastair

    Happy anniversary to the two of you. I just hope that sooner rather than later the homophobes realise they just need electric probes to show that everyone is the same inside. It doesn’t matter who someone loves … it’s the “love” that matters. You and Jim love each other enough to get married, and I think it’s about time all states should accept that.

    Have a good day the pair of you.

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  3. patinaandcompany

    You really had me confused there for a sec when you wrote, ” . . . while we were in a homophobic state . . . ”

    However, now that I’ve sorted that out, happy anniversary and best wishes for lots more.

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  4. appletonavenue

    Happy Anniversary! I do hope the Supreme Court tosses Prop 8, what a horrible stupid “law”! Just curious; what is the difference between being registered domestic partners and being married? I always thought marriage was just a religious ceremony and domestic partnerships offered all the same rights as a marriage would, or is that only in the State of California? I appreciate your educating people like me as to the details. Thanks for a great post and enjoy your special day!

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Similar to racism in the past when white children drank at one water fountain and black children drank at a different water fountain, “separate but equal,” as the Supreme Court stated when it overruled “separate but equal,” is not equal.

      We have marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. Why complicate things when everyone knows what a marriage is?

      “Marriage” and “married” are used in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, the federal government, and throughout the world. It is accepted that when two people are married, their lives are forever interconnected (until they get a divorce……lol). If Jim and I travel to a foreign country and something happens, they don’t have a clue what a civil union or domestic partnership is, but they all know what a marriage is.

      If you read the laws in the states that have domestic partnerships and civil unions, you see things like “Civil unions shall have all the rights and privileges of marriage EXCEPT…………..”

      It’s amazing in some states just exactly what those exceptions are. Little things like being able to file a joint tax return or, here n California, having to file a joint tax return for the state but two different returns for the IRS.

      The government shouldn’t even be in the marriage business, but since it is, it would be nice if all marriages were equal in the eyes of the law. Note that as it is now, religious organizations don’t have to marry anyone. One of my uncles could not marry in the Catholic church where his parents got married because he was not a member of that specific congregation! So he got married across the street, literally, at a different Catholic church. Not a single law would force any religion to marry a gay or lesbian couple. Not one.

      Notice that Jim and I have taken each step when they were offered to us. We entered into a “common law marriage” by moving in with each other. Then we registered as domestic partners as soon as that was offered to us. Then we got married as soon as that was offered to us. There is a difference between all of them.

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      1. appletonavenue

        Thank you. You clarified everything beautifully. I see the progression of this whole issue and understand the differences. Not being my world, I had no idea of the restrictions and rules applied. I didn’t know it could be so complicated. I can see now too, that this has to be worldwide change.

        You’ll always have my vote.

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  5. wsj2day

    Happy anniversary (and yeah i know, it looks like i’ll be saying this a whole heck of a lot to the pair of you, so get used to it!) and shall we say may there be plenty more of ’em along the way and thru the years! you lucky duck!

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  6. Clanmother

    Happy anniversary! Thank you for sharing this special day with us! We have come a long way, but there is still much more to do….and sometimes it seems that for every 2 steps ahead that sometimes we jump back three. But it is a noble and good fight…

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  7. Pit

    Hi Russel,
    A most happy anniversary to you and Jim, and good luck! I’m keeping my fingers crossed
    that same-sex marriages will be legal in ALL the states soon.
    Take care, my friend, and have a good one,
    Pit

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  8. 12thsonoflama

    Happy anniversary – I’m shocked it is still an issue. Don’t we (the USA and politicians and homophobic people) have other things to worry about?! I hope you both have a wonderful day!

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  9. marsellaj

    Happy, Happy celebration of all your special days Russell and Jim! It would be interesting to know (age wise) who represent the votes against gay marriage. I remember attending a personal (but not legal) marriage between two of my friends twenty five years ago. They couldn’t even talk about it publicly then, so we’ve made progress, but not enough sadly.

    My son attended an Outward Bound public school where they supported the process of a transgendering teen and it was so amazing. He taught ME about the process. We need more of that love and compassion in the world,but it will come down to legislation. Keep up the good fight.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Older people are set in their ways and generally don’t support gay marriage. Younger people, who have grown up with openly gay people in their lives at work and in school, generally do.

      People of any age who know someone who is gay generally support gay marriage. That’s why it’s important for gay people to continue to live their lives openly, to let family and friends know who they are. That’s why I occasionally do a post like this. I want people to know who is behind Russel Ray Photos.

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  10. grosenberg

    Come up to visit here in Canada. Marriage is recognized all over…
    Tho, that brings up one of my things…
    We speak of governments giving us our rights and that to me is one of the biggest misnomers.
    Noone can give us what is inherently ours
    What we look for is for our rights to be RECOGNIZED or ACKNOWLEDGED

    Happy Belated Anniversary

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  11. kanzensakura

    Call me old fashiioned, but somehow, two people being together who love each other doesn’t sound non-traditional at all. It sounds to me like wedded bliss Congratulations and hope you have many more.

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  12. Amiable Amiable

    Happy anniversary!!! And thank you for following my blog. I apologize for being so late in thanking you … life got in the way for a bit, but I’m back and catching up. I’m glad that I can get in on the celebration and wish you and Jim continued happiness, despite the issues that “non-traditional” couples face. Your attitude and spirit are inspirational. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts and seeing your many wonderful photos.

    All the best,

    AA

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  13. jcee3

    Well, Happy Anniversary to you 🙂 Do you follow Equally Wed? Nothing but support from this southern belle, happy to now be living in a blue state! 😉 (and seriously hoping it stays that way)

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